Old loyalist of Congress and former External Affairs Minister Natwar Singh invited controversy by saying that it was Rahul Gandhi who stopped his mother from becoming Prime Minister in 2004. Angrily reacting to Natwar Singh’s claims, Sonia said that she will write her own book and then you will know everything. After so many years, is there any need for this hullabaloo? I think Natwar Singh is seeing his future with BJP or he wants to take over the Congress Party as he is thinking that Congress is sinking under Mrs. Gandhi’s leadership. Natwar Singh (83), an estranged Gandhi family friend quit the Congress Party in 2008 after his name came forward in food-for-oil scam.
Whether it was an inner voice or it was a sacrifice, does that matter? She was not out of power in last decade. Actually, she was at the centre of power in UPA-I and UPA-II government. Still she is representing her constituency; it means she is the most respectable person in her constituency. She wielded power like no one else, and was more powerful than Prime Minister. Manmohan Singh and Congress President Sonia Gandhi were among 16 Indians who have found a place in the prestigious Foreign Policy magazine’s list of the 500 most powerful people on the planet. Sonia Gandhi, figure among the top 10 in the global list of most powerful women compiled by Forbes magazine for 2013.
Why should she feel hurt by Natwar Singh’s publicity stunt? She has seen worst days in Indian politics. Her mother in law was riddled with bullets. Her husband was assassinated. This is not something new to her. She is been always humiliated and insulted by fellow politicians. Some BJP leaders had agenda to tarnish her image and tear apart her dignity. She is a strong woman and she belongs to an extraordinary family of this country. Natwar Singh claimed that Congress president Sonia Gandhi did not become prime minister in 2004 because her son Rahul Gandhi said he will not allow it since he felt she would be killed like his father former PM Rajiv Gandhi. Anxiety of a son is well understood for his mother, who lost his father at a very young age. It is understood that she got political mileage also from this decision. Forget about her being a prime minister, when her husband Rajiv Gandhi was pressured by Congress politicians after his mother’s assassination to enter politics, Rahul and Sonia were both opposed to the idea, and he even publicly stated that. Sonia had even threatened to divorce Rajiv if he ever entered politics. Politics was never a greed for her.
Born into a family of modest means in an Italian village, Sonia Maino, now Sonia Gandhi, has weaved a dramatic way to a place in history by becoming the President of India’s century-old Congress party. Being the third woman of foreign origin to hold the prestigious post after Annie Beasant and Nelli Sengupta, Sonia Gandhi also became the fifth from the Nehru family to take over the Congress reins. The other four were Motilal Nehru, Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi. Congress has always been a sinking ship without the Gandhis. She actually did favours to her party leaders by entering into politics and becoming backbone of the party.
Sonia Gandhi was elected as the President of the Indian National Congress by overwhelming support from across the country from all states. In a short span since she plunged into active politics before the February mid-term Lok Sabha elections. Sonia in fact, had wrought a political miracle by becoming the dual chief of the 113 year old Indian National Congress and its Parliamentary party. In the process, Sonia Gandhi also matched her husband, mother-in-law and grandfather-in-law—Rajiv, Indira and Nehru— who all held the two posts during their career. Since Rajiv’s death, Sonia had led a life of near loner for six years but for her entrances at a few official functions. She touched many hearts when she poured out her ‘vedna’ (agony) at a public meeting a few years ago in Amethi about the delay in the probe of Rajiv’s assassination case. After an excruciating spell of suspense, Sonia, who long remained something of an enigma to many, finally decided to campaign for the Congress in the just-concluded Lok Sabha elections and is credited by observers for preventing a doom for the party.
In May 1981, 11 months after Sanjay’s death, Rajiv resigned from Indian Airlines. Indira gave instructions that Sonia should accompany Rajiv when he went to rural areas, and thus the seed was sown for her rural experience. Sonia had seen and experienced much worse — two assassinations, of her mother-in-law Indira Gandhi and husband Rajiv Gandhi — and Natwar’s Singh’s allegations did not hurt her the least.
It is a breach of trust by Mr. Singh if what he is claiming in the matter is true. He is in the habit of coming up with such revelations every now and then. It is most likely for the publicity and personal gains. His disclosure on the role played by him in setting up meetings between Margaret Thatcher and a Tantrik in London is one such example. It is strange that the conscience of people belonging to his profession wakes up suddenly to tell the truth. He was involved in a corruption scandal on a large scale, so speaking about truth and honesty by Mr. Singh is a bit farfetched. It is quite natural for any son to do all that is possible for him to prevent his mother from getting killed and if Rahul Gandhi did that in 2004, it is perfectly understandable. But that doesn’t mean Ms. Sonia Gandhi didn’t listen to her inner voice to renounce the prime minister’s job. In any case, Natwar Singh’s revelation of Sonia and Priyanka meeting him on May 7 at his residence and also of Rahul preventing Sonia from becoming PM shows to what level he stoops to either make his book hot selling or to curry favour with the Modi government. It is better for him to understand that the broad minded Indian electorate who elected Ms. Sonia Gandhi in 2004 does not get carried away by his absurd disclosures. It seems to have become a fashion with a section of so called intellectual class making certain statements on important persons only after they cease to be in power.
I don’t think Sonia Gandhi needs to write any biography to give explanations over Natwar’s poor allegations, people know it all.